Dr Louis Klee, Clare




Biographical Information

I am a Junior Research Fellow at Clare College. My first degree was a Bachelor of Philosophy in philosophy at the Australian National University. I then did an MPhil and a PhD (2018-21) at Cambridge.

Research Interests

I work on topics in literature and philosophy, with an emphasis on aesthetics, political philosophy, and theories of the novel. My first book, The Constellational Novel, explores associative and essayistic prose fiction. It begins with Marcel Proust and focuses on a number of novels written over the last three decades by Jacqueline Rose, W. G. Sebald, Teju Cole, Lisa Robertson, and Olga Tokarczuk. My next book is called Writing and Iconoclasm. It posits iconoclasm as the fulcrum between visual culture and the written word.

Other research interests include ethics and moral philosophy; critical theory; continental philosophy; modern and contemporary poetry; Walter Benjamin; Judaism and philosophy; Judith Butler; psychoanalysis (especially as explored by Leo Bersani, Kaja Silverman, and Jonathan Lear); and Australian literature. I am broadly interested in philosophical discussions of affinity, likeness, resemblance, associationism, analogism, similarity, and 'what is it like' statements - the subject of a book project titled Sketch for a Theory of Affinity (after Sartre's Esquisse d'une théorie des émotions). 

I am on the steering committee of the Judith E Wilson Centre for Poetics. I am also an affiliated researcher with the Walter Benjamin Research Collective and Le Pôle Proust. With Solange Manche and Joe Davidson, I chair the Cambridge Reading Marx Seminar, which is affiliated with the 'lectures de Marx' seminar at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. We organised this conference funded by CRASSH on contemporary Marxist thought in France and Britain. I have been co-convenor for a number of years of the Theory, Criticism, and Culture seminar.

Areas of Graduate Supervision

I supervise in the English and Philosophy Faculties. In English, I am offering a lecture course on 'Theories of the Novel'. I have supervised 1.1: Practical Criticism and Critical Practice I, 1.7b: English Literature and its Contexts 1870-Present, 2.2: Tragedy, 2.11: Prose Forms 1936-1956, 2.12: Contemporary Writing; 2.16: History and Theory of Literary Criticism, and 2.17: Lyric, and dissertations across Part I and II. General dissertation topics I have supervised before include queer theory, contemporary fiction, and Anthropocene poetics, and dissertations about writers such as Amiri Baraka, Virginia Woolf, Maggie Nelson, Samuel Beckett, Flann O'Brien, Susan Sontag, and Ben Lerner. In Philosophy, I've supervised for Part IB Paper 05: Early Modern Philosophy, Part IB Paper 09: Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art, and Part IB Paper 07: Political Philosophy. 

I’m always happy to hear from students wishing to discuss their academic and creative work.

Selected Publications

I have academic work in Representations [online here], New German Critique [online here], Textual Practice, The European Legacy, and Kierkegaard Studies. 

I co-edited The Cambridge Companion to the Australian Novel (2023) and I contributed a chapter to The Cambridge Companion to Australian Poetry (forthcoming). I also co-edited a special issue of The European Legacy with Anya Topolski, which included an afterword by Judith Butler.

My essays, reviews, and interviews are in The Times Literary Supplement (TLS), Music & Literature, 3:AM Magazine, The Monthly, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, Overland, and other places. I am currently a Juncture Fellow at the Sydney Review of Books, 'a fellowship program presenting a series of new essays on Australian and international literature by leading critics'. I have published on topics such as Yiddish fiction in Australia, Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend but the Mountains [online here], Australian historiography [online here], and a number of contemporary poets. My poetry has been widely published in venues such as the TLS, PN Review, and Best Australian Poems. I have also written a number of plays.